What qualifications do I need to be an accountant?

What qualifications do I need to be an accountant?

The main roles of an accountant are to record, process, analyse and prepare various financial and business-related reports. So, unlike a business finance manager who is focussed on the management of money an accountant is more concerned with record-keeping.

The skills and qualifications that are necessary for accountants are similar to those who work in the finance department and in some cases the two roles are undertaken by the same person. Accountants need to have a good grasp of accounting rules, tax and regulatory issues and demonstrate the ability to work with numbers and now also need a good understanding of accounting software. It is important at this point to recognise the difference between an accountant and a chartered accountant. A chartered accountant must be certified by a nationally recognised body. However, someone working as an accountant does not necessarily need to have these qualifications but for those wanting to progress in this field these formal certifications are essential.

Most accountants would be expected to have a graduate degree in a mathematical subject such as business, finance or economics. Additional courses covering accounting principles and tax law would be beneficial. Postgraduate certifications in these fields will be of particular benefit and add even more merit to the CV of an accountant.

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